How fast do snake plants grow?
Snake plant is one of the most popular houseplant choices for apartment dwellers today. This hardy plant, also known as Sansevierias, Saint George’s sword, Bowstring Hemp, the very politically correct 😊Mother in law’s tongue, is a perfect choice if you are a plant parenting beginner.
This plant care guide will teach all about taking care of your snake plant, including the most commonly asked question – How fast do snake plants grow?
Some of the other topics we will cover include –
- How to choose your snake plant?
- What are the ideal soil mixes?
- How to propagate your snake plant?
- How to re-pot snake plant?
- How much do snake plants grow in a year?
- What are the disadvantages of snake plants?
So, let’s dive right in and learn all there is to know about the green and gorgeous snake plant.
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How fast do snake plants grow?
Snake plants tend to grow slowly, especially if kept indoors or in partial shade. However, if they are grown in full sunlight, the growth of the snake plant is much faster.
If you are trying to grow a snake plant from a cutting, it will usually take three to four weeks to start growing roots. It will take six to eight weeks for these roots to develop fully.
If you have recently re-potted a snake plant, it will take four to six weeks for it to start growing. A snake plant pup will take about a year to reach full size.
Other than the exposure to sunlight, these ten factors determine how fast do snake plants grow –
S. Trifaciata Laurentii is a common variety of snake plants. It has variegated foliage and yellow stripes on both sides. The leaves of this variety tend to grow up to 2 feet. Some may grow even up to 3 feet, depending on the conditions.
The leaves of the S. cylindrica variety are cylindrical and can grow up to 7 feet in length.
S. Trifaciata Hanhii grows only 4-8 inches high. It never grows taller than one foot.
2. Change of surroundings
Like humans, plants also need some time to adjust to their new surroundings. Shifting them or re-potting them can shock them, which may slow down their growth.
If you have bought a new snake plant, do not re-pot it immediately. Leave the plant in its original container for two weeks. Do not add any fertilizer to it as it may have been fertilized recently.
3. Soil content
The snake plant needs a well-draining potting mix. You can use cactus soils or soils for succulents to grow this plant. You can take a well-draining potting soil and cactus soil in the same proportion and add some compost to it. This will ensure that the pot does not retain water and the plant grows well.
4. Growth season
The growth season for snake plants is from spring to summer. It grows well during this season and is dormant during the winter season. Fertilize your plant during the growing season for better growth.
Watering the snake plant properly is essential to maintain proper growth. Do not overwater this plant. Always feel the soil before you water this plant. Water it only if you think the soil is dry. Snake plants can live without water for up to three weeks.
Snake plants need a hot, dry environment to grow well. You can place your snake plant on a window ledge if you live in a warm area. If you have a garden, you can grow your snake plant there as long as the temperature doesn’t dip below 50 degrees.
Like many other houseplants, snake plants also require pruning to grow bushier. Pruning is a must to give your snake plant the right shape and size. If you have never pruned your snake plant, it may not grow very well.
However, you must always prune your snake plant during the growing season (spring to summer). Disinfect your trimmers and clip all the yellow or brown leaves. Once the pruning is complete, keep the plant in indirect sunlight.
Pests affect the growth rate of snake plants by attacking the leaves and weakening them. Mealybugs, aphids, and spider mites are some pests that tend to attack snake plants. If you have overwatered your plant, the decaying roots can also attract pests.
Separate these infected plants from others. You can use pesticides or natural alternatives like neem oil to eliminate pests on your plants.
9. Planter size
How fast snake plants grow also depends on the size of the planter. If the planter is too small, the plant will grow root-bound, and the growth will stop. Shift the plant to a bigger pot once the roots have outgrown the pot completely and maintain good growth.
Fertilizing your snake plant regularly will promote healthy growth. However, overfertilizing or fertilizing in the wrong season can harm your plant. So, fertilize your plant two or three times in the growing season (spring to summer) and do not fertilize in the dormant period (winter).
Now that you have learned about the factors that determine snake plant growth let us move on to some other questions about snake plants.
How to choose a snake plant correctly?
If you are thinking of growing a snake plant at home, the first step is to choose a healthy plant that will grow well. Here are some of the things that you must check when plant shopping –
1. Leaf color
Choose a plant that has dark green leaves. This indicates that the plant is healthy and growing well. A plant that has pale leaves may not be very healthy.
2. Pot size
Look at the pot in which the plant is planted. You don’t want to buy a plant that has to be re-potted immediately. It is always advisable to keep the plant in the same pot for at least two weeks.
3. Snake plant variety
These are the common varieties of snake plants. You can choose the correct one for your home depending on its growth height, the required level of care, and light requirements.
Sansevieria trifasciata ‘Mother-in-law’s Tongue’
Its dark green pointed leaves grow upward and reach up to 3 feet. You can place it in an area that gets six hours of indirect sunlight.
Sansevieria trifasciata ‘Twist’
The pointy leaves of this variety of snake plants tend to twist from the top. This snake plant grows to a height of 12 to 15 inches. It can stand medium levels of direct sunlight, and also tolerate low light conditions.
Sansevieria ‘Golden hahnii’
Its dark green leaves have a distinctive, creamy margin with a dense rosette appearance, making it perfect for coffee tables. This dwarf variety can grow up to one foot. It can tolerate anything from full sun to low light conditions. Protect this plant from the harsh afternoon sun.
This plant is also known as the African spear due to its origin and the cylindrical pointed leaves. The plant can grow up to seven feet tall and 2-3 feet wide. Leaves are almost 1 inch in diameter and taper gradually to the peak. For Sansevieria Cylindrica, bright and indirect sunlight is the best.
What are the ideal soil mixes for snake plants?
Snake plant needs well-draining, nutrient-rich soil. The plant roots need space to breathe, so the soil should not be too compact.
Use the following mix to make the ideal soil for the snake plant.
- Organic potting soil – ¾ part
- Succulent or cactus soil mix – ¼ part
- Compost – handful
How to propagate your snake plant?
You can propagate snake plants in four ways –
- Water propagation – You can cut healthy leaves from your snake plant and grow them in water.
- Soil propagation – You can cut healthy plant leaves and grow them directly in the soil.
- Division – When your snake plant has grown bushy, you can divide it in half and grow them in two different pots.
- Rhizome propagation – Underground rhizomes of the snake plant can grow into new plants.
How to re-pot your snake plant?
The best time to re-pot the snake plant is late winter or early spring when it is not in active growth. These plants require re-potting every two years as they can outgrow their existing planters.
They tend to spread laterally, so they need a broader area to expand. The snake plant has tall leaves, so it can become top-heavy. So pick a planter that is wider than it is deep to keep the plant stable.
Remove the plant from its existing pot carefully, ensuring that the roots are not damaged. Scrutinize the roots to check if the roots have developed rot. Take a clean, sterile knife to remove any rotting roots.
Add some potting mix in the planter and place the plant over it. Now add the rest of the potting mix. If the soil sinks after watering, add more soil to bring it to two inches from the pot’s rim.
How much do snake plants grow in a year?
Depending on the species, care, and environment, snake plants can grow between two and 12 inches in a year.
What are the disadvantages of snake plants?
Although the snake plant is a very popular houseplant, it has a few disadvantages that you may not be aware of.
- It’s a slow-growing plant. Its rate of growth slows down even further when it is placed indoors.
- Though this plant doesn’t require much water, people tend to overwater and damage this plant easily.
- The stems of this plant are not very strong. So, if it rains heavily or there are high winds, the leaves fall over.
- Snake plants are prone to fungal attacks. This can lead to plant diseases like red leaf spots or southern blight.
- Snake plants are poisonous when chewed or ingested as they contain a chemical called saponin. This can be a problem if you have pets or small children.
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Final thoughts on how fast do snake plants grow?
Are you still wondering how fast do snake plants grow? The honest answer to this question is that there is no single figure. The speed of growth of your snake plant depends on the variety you choose and the growing conditions.
However, as long as your plant is healthy, you need not worry about how fast do snake plants grow. Enjoy the beauty of this plant and learn how to take care of it.
I hope you enjoyed learning about snake plants through this post.